Classroom Observation Report
The focus of Assignment 3 is to observe and document teaching and learning within a classroom setting for two or more educational subjects (Math, English, Science,…etc). Classroom observations must be critically compared, analysed and discussed in relation to theories of cognition and learning, (for all learners in your classroom) and in how these theories affect the practice of teaching in different disciplines (3000 words).
For this assignment, you will need to collect information from at least two different educational subject settings. The purpose of this assignment is for you to evaluate your observations against what is ‘known’ (research evidence, learning theories) about how students learn and how this affects teaching practises in different disciplines. You will therefore need to ﬁnd a tool or instrument to assist you record your observations, design a small scale study, carry it out, critically compare and analyse your observations and write up a report based upon your ﬁndings.
The following are steps that you will need to follow.
- Think of a research question you want to investigate, e.g. The use of teacher questions in learning and teaching; the impact of student-centered instruction on students achievement or disposition, classroom discussion, or interaction,….; group (classroom) dynamics and interaction; the incorporation of ICT in learning and teaching; how teaching of subjects (e.g. English, or/and Science, Social Studies, Math) differ in single-gender classroom, in governmental or private schools, the use of artifacts/visual tools in teaching and learning, the role of rehearsal/practice/reinforcement in teaching and learning, the role of praise in teaching and learning, the role of cognitive learning strategies in learning and teaching, how to adapt instruction for diversity and inclusionary classrooms, role of differentiation in the classroom, etc.
- Find two or so articles (to begin with, you can expand your reading once you have a starting point) that have investigated the issue you are considering. Read them and consider the theories put forward by the authors to explain what is observed. Try to make your own mind up about how learning theories are impacting instruction or synthesize the research gap or future topics for study, try to explain the processes that learners are engaging in – do you agree/disagree with the different explanations that are offered. Do you think they are applicable to all disciplines equally or can the type of discipline affect the type of learning engaged
in? How do learning theories therefore inform teaching practice?
- Think of the observation tool/instrument you will need to use in order to document classroom interactions (will you be focusing on the teacher, the students or both). Is there an existing tool that will allow you to document your observations? Does it need to be modiﬁed? Will you create your own tool/instrument in order to assist you note your observations? How have other researchers investigated the subject you are investigating? Can you use the same or similar methods to document your observations?
- Design your study and remember to consider:
How have other researchers investigated the subject you are currently investigating?
What tools have they used?
How are you going to interpret your results? What will your results show you?
- Write up your report –
- Cover page
- Introduction indicating your study’s purpose, research question(s) and why it’s worth investigating
- Literature Review to brieﬂy include what the research evidence has to say on the subject you’re investigating (is there consensus or a difference in opinion?). Also include major theories related to the study.
- Methodology: brieﬂy document how you carry the study, its approach, context, what subjects are observed, how many periods per subject, students, teachers..etc. instrument or tool of observation. How data analysis is carried? Have you followed any model or previous research in doing so? etc
- Data Analysis and Findings (Results) that presents data analysis, how observations are explored, categorized, what you did, what you found (make use of tables and appendices!) present your results
- Discussion based on your results (what do your research ﬁndings tell us, can they be explained in relation to theory and/or research evidence, how does this ﬁt with existing research and most importantly. Comparison between both subjects’ main results.
- Conclusion & recommendations. What does this tell us about the question you asked at the beginning? Are there recommendations that can be made or conclusions that can be drawn?